The best part about returning to normal is dropping the requirement of having to sign the covid disclosure – known as a ‘pead’ – just to see a house. I don’t mind the paperwork, it’s the badgering by listing agents to submit the form immediately before anything else can happen – like scheduling a showing. I hope we get back to talking about sales!
The California economy will reopen on June 15th and, with limited exceptions, will return to normal operations.
Q1. Will there be any restrictions on open houses or showings?
A1. The only legal restriction will be for wearing masks, otherwise there will be no restrictions. No physical distancing will be required for attendees, guests and customers. No cleaning. No posted rules of entry. And no PEADs or any other type of sign in. No one will have to agree to an office prevention plan. No one will have to attest to their current health status.
Q2. What will the rule be for wearing masks?
A2. The rule is: People must wear a mask indoors unless they are fully vaccinated. This follows the CDPH Guidance for Face Coverings (last updated on June 9, 2021). For fully vaccinated persons, it will make no difference that other unvaccinated persons are present indoors. As long as a person is fully vaccinated, that person need not wear a mask.
Q3. Are there any exceptions from the mask wearing requirements?
A3: Yes. The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks:
- Two-year-old children or younger.
- Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask, or are otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance. For example, a person for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing.
- Hearing impaired persons who need to see the whole face for communication or be understood.
- Persons whose work exempts them by law.
Q4. My seller wants to require that everyone entering the property wear a mask or be vaccinated. Can the seller require this?
A4. Yes. The seller can set their own rules as to who will be admitted to the property.
The seller can:
- Require all visitors to wear a mask.
- Require all visitors to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID test.
- Implement a vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
- Provide information to all visitors regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individual to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
If your seller would like these rules implemented, you will need the seller’s consent. Your office may require that the listing be formally amended. You may add optional language such as, “with the exception of _____________________________________ .” or “The following showing requirements shall be followed: ______________________________________.”
On a separate note, if the Listing Agreement Coronavirus Addendum or Amendment (C.A.R. Form RLA-CAA) has already been signed, you may want to now add a Modification of Terms by writing the following into the Other paragraph: “The RLA-CAA, dated ________, is terminated.”
Q5. What is the practical advice for a seller and/or a broker regarding mask wearing requirements?
A5. The practical advice is to adopt a policy that requires everyone to wear a mask. It’s true that a fully vaccinated person after June 14 need not wear a mask, but then that puts the agent in the position of having to ask everyone about their vaccination status. Rather than do that, wouldn’t it be simpler and easier just to adopt a blanket rule that everyone visiting a property wear a mask? Discuss your approach with the seller to obtain the seller’s agreement.